Justice Department Will End Use of Private Prisons

Posted August 31, 2016

As private prison contracts come to an end, the bureau is not to renew the contract or it should at least "substantially" reduce its scope, Yates wrote.

Three companies run the prisons in question: Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), GEO Group and Management and Training Corporation.

"I've never believed private prisons saved any money", McFadyen said Thursday.

"We are hopeful of retaining our contract. and believe that strong consideration will be given to the quality of operations at the facilities that are now part of this bid", Zoley said.

In its most recent two seasons, the popular Netflix drama "Orange is the New Black", which dramatizes the lives of female federal inmates, painted a harsh portrait of a fictional private company that seeks to maximize profits at the expense of prisoners' human rights. According to the Mississippi Department of Corrections website, there are five active private prisons in the state.

According to the Inspector General's report, in 1997 the Federal BOP began contracting with privately operated institutions to alleviate overcrowding and adhere to congressional mandates.

"The fact of the matter is that private prisons don't compare favorably to Bureau of Prisons facilities in terms of safety or security or services, and now with the decline in the federal prison population, we have both the opportunity and the responsibility to do something about that". She added that private prisons also provide fewer rehabilitative services that are "essential to reducing recidivism and improving public safety".

CNNMoney- The U.S. Department of Justice plans to stop using private prisons. This follows a DOJ investigation and report that found them to be less safe and more dysfunctional than government-run prisons. It was owned by the Corrections Corporation of America.

The federal government began to rely on contract prisons to keep pace with a population that soared by almost 800 percent between 1980 and 2013.

By 2013, there were 30,000 inmates housed in privately operated prisons.

The federal prison population is now at 193,299.

The Justice Department's decision comes as the private prison industry has fallen under increasingly critical scrutiny.

Yates' announcement does not pertain to contracts with private companies to operate hundreds of "halfway houses" which provide short-term transitional housing to prisoners.

"This is an important and groundbreaking decision", David Fathi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project, said in a statement. Thursday's policy change also included direction to change a current solicitation for a private prison contract, cutting the maximum number of beds required by 66 per cent.